SABC unions threaten four-hour blackout on Friday over planned retrenchments

Reading Time: 2 minutes

SABC unions are threatening a four-hour blackout on Friday from 11am to 2pm over planned retrenchments. Unions also deny that their members have been intimidating people who turned up for work.

On Wednesday, workers gathered at the public broadcaster’s Auckland Park headquarters in Johannesburg before proceeding in a motorcade to the Union Buildings to hand over a memorandum to the Presidency.

They’re demanding an end to planned retrenchments of more than 300 permanent staff and want the SABC board to be dissolved.

General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), Aubrey Tshabalala, says that all their protest actions are legal.

“People were interacting and talking to their colleagues. So, that’s why we’ve written them a letter. We said to the SABC, give us the details of the said reports so that if it’s true – and we know it’s not true – we can be able to deal with our members, who might embark on actions that are not permissible. So, we dismiss this. It’s another ploy. They might want to build a case, so that they go to Labour Court and try to interdict the strike. It’s a very peaceful strike. We’re still going to intensify it.”

Bemawu to join CWU in a strike action against SABC retrenchments: 

The SABC says it has received formal complaints of intimidation from non-striking workers. SABC COO, Ian Plaatjies says, “I’ve been in meetings all day, so I’ve not seen their statement or what they’ve requested at all. It’s factual, we have proof of it and we have formal complaints from employees, and we obviously have to protect employees. We’re obviously assessing the situation, and we’ll take appropriate steps as, and when required.”